Supporting people, communities, & institutions moving the world and moved by it

Opting Out of Incoherence

“The achievement gap is visible because

of these awful tests,” says a young

thoughtful black teacher.


One email reads, “Opting-out of high-stakes

testing is an act of civil disobedience.”


Another email points to the raging incoherence

of a struggle for human dignity

played across the currents of issues

that are and are not divisive and urgent


One union says this

One policy center that

A group with trust in its name shouts

Others respond

And I have my own doubts



to multiple claims on movements and

civil rights

from voices left, right, black,

white, and brown


This is NOT a Test

The Test

Both good books and

surely this is a test


But not the kind that’s easy to scan

Or to assign a letter grade to

Or even to write an important book about

It is a test of courage and creativity

A test of our capacities


To search for ways to move with the

currents of human struggle and find

shared and steady hands


Boundaries, both real and false,

Are due to be crossed by those seeking

Some shared claim on what it means

to be human and educated

at this time on the clock of the world.